The Design Partnership


The Design Partnership provides masterplanning and urban design services throughout NSW. Our experience includes urban revitalisation for regional towns and villages through to high density urban areas.

By far the greatest and most admirable form of wisdom is that needed to plan and beautify cities and human communities
— Socrates

What is Masterplanning?

Ancient Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great around 331 BC – aided by his chief architect Dinocrates.

Accounts of exactly how he drew up his plans are extremely numerous and varied, but one of the more sober descriptions, given by the historian Arrian, tells how Alexander undertook to lay out the city's general plan, but lacking chalk or other means, resorted to sketching it out with grain.

At The Design Partnership, we’ve moved on from chalk and grain, but we carry on a process that spans millennia.

Whether they used the term Master planning in ancient times is unknown, but then as now, expecting things to turn out right without a comprehensive plan is basically foolhardy.

Photo by andreamuscatello/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by andreamuscatello/iStock / Getty Images

There are many types of Master Plan. As urban designers we use Master Plans to plan the future physical, social, economic and environmental qualities of a place, whether a village, town, city, suburb, business park or even a cemetery.

Once agreed, a Master Plan allows everyone involved to understand exactly what needs to be done and when. The bill payers will know what they are getting for their dollar – and the doers will know what they have to do.

A Master Plan comprises many technical aspects, but it is ultimately a design process – and good design doesn’t happen by chance.

Any place - whether a city, a village, or a suburb - is like a machine. It is comprised of many different and interconnected parts that enable it to function correctly. A Master Plan should consider all of those parts both individually and together.

All of the parts of the machine require specialist skills – for example, the transport element of a master plan may require the input of traffic engineers, public transport providers and state road authorities.

A Master Plan comprises many technical aspects, but it is ultimately a design process – and good design doesn’t happen by chance.
— The Design Partnership
Olympic Park Sporting Precinct Masterplan artist representation (Image by TDP)

Olympic Park Sporting Precinct Masterplan artist representation (Image by TDP)

Who prepares a Masterplan?

A Master Plan is prepared by an Urban Designer. If the city is a machine, then The Design Partnership is like an engineer. The role of the urban designer is to understand how the place should function, and to prepare a strategy that will achieve it.

The urban designer also brings together the skills of specialists. A good urban designer will bring in the right specialist at the right point in the process for the right amount of time to get optimum results. Every project requires a different skill set, but here are some of the various professionals that The Design Partnership might enlist when preparing a Master Plan for your project or development:

  • Architect
  • Town Planner
  • Landscape Architect
  • Heritage Consultant
  • CPTED/Safer By Design Consultant
  • Civil Engineers
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design Specialist Engineers
  • Traffic Engineers
  • Social Consultant
  • Hydrologist
  • Economic Consultant
  • Public Art Consultant
  • Ecologist
  • Bushfire Consultant
  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Community Consultant
  • Arborist
  • Horticulturalist
  • Geographic Information System - GIS Specialist
  • Place Making Specialist
  • Indigenous consultant

What will you find in your Masterplan?

Master Plans are documents that incorporate a combination of visual and written elements. They may include plans, sections, elevations, strategies, statements, 2 or 3d perspectives and even photo montages. The composition of a Master Plan will depend upon the message being conveyed, the intended audience, and how it will be used.

Once completed and accepted, your Masterplan will enable you, local or State authorities, your contractors and the community to all fully understand what is intended for your site and how it will occur.

Who do we prepared Masterplans for?

The Design Partnership prepares Masterplans for state authorities, local governments and private developers. Our experience includes Masterplans for the following locations:

  • Newcastle
  • Buladelah (Mid Coast Council)
  • Branxton (Cessnock Council)
  • The Entrance Town Centre (Central Coast Council)
  • Forster (Mid Coast Council)
  • Muswellbrook (Muswellbrook Council)
  • Kendall (Port Macquarie - Hastings  Council)
  • Woy Woy (Central Coast Council)
  • The 5 Lands - Macmasters to Terrigal (Central Coast Council)